The end of 2021 is almost here, and it seems just like yesterday that I wrote a piece for the end of 2020. This
year has seemed to have flown by, but a lot of wonderful things have happened as well. I must admit there
have been some ups and downs along the way for us, our state, and our country. Regardless, God is present
each day of our lives and continues to bless us. Before we move into 2022, let’s look at some of the blessings
January 6th is a day all of us will remember and not exactly how most of imagined kicking off the new year.
We were not worshiping in person still, but with the Coronavirus vaccine becoming available there was
hope. During this month, I was also able to share the vision I have for Marble moving forward. The start of
Lent happened in February, and we launched the start of two worship services. These services allowed us to
provide a traditional and modern worship experience for all our neighbors. The season took us all the way to
April and being able to celebrate Easter together in person. During these first four months, I believe we were
able to get the ball rolling despite the start of the year.
Over the course of the year, we continued to experience the gifts of those amongst us. I am thankful for the
ones that shared a message from the pulpit with us each month. What a blessing to have neighbors willing to speak and provide us with another voice to hear the Good News. As a neighborhood church, we enjoyed the
spring and summer months with special events. We hosted Community Dinners starting with a to-go option
until the last couple of months where we were able to invite our neighbors to dine-in. From a traditional St.
Patrick’s Dinner to good old Turkey Dinner, our hearts and stomachs have been filled. These are just a couple
more of the blessings of this year.
One of the things I looked forward to is being able to participate in 3rd Thursdays. Milan Main Street brought
these neighborhood event back for 2021, and Marble was able to be the Church for the community by
provide fun and games for families. August brought another one of those turbulent times for our community
in the form a storm that knocked out power for days. Since we didn’t have power, we made the decision to
love on our neighbors by hosting a Free Community Breakfast for everyone in Milan. Not only did we serve
those that came to eat on our front lawn, but we also delivered meals to the various workers trying to get our
city back up and running. Another highlight of August was coming together with Peoples Presbyterian
Church to offer a “Church in the Park” service for our community. Milan certainly looked different from when
I arrived in 2020 to this year with being able to do a lot more things with the church and city.
This fall has been a continuation of the blessings God has provided us with. In October, our kickoff series “Get
In The Game” let us have some more fun with our neighbors. As we discussed how to serve and be helpful
like Jesus, we gave away some football tickets, enjoy some time together with a tailgate party, and some
enjoyed wings and a football game with Melissa and me. Our state has been going through another one of
those rough patches with Covid numbers rising and still being high. We keep striving to respect and protect
those who come to worship with us and will maintain precautions for everyone’s health and wellbeing.
My prayer for the end of this year is for us to be thankful not just during Thanksgiving but every day. Also,
may we love on our neighbors during a time that can be difficult to celebrate the holidays. We have lost loved
ones and good neighbors this year, may we celebrate their lives by not forgetting they are still with us and
the difference they made in our lives. Please take time to enjoy the Advent Devotionals we have sent out to
everybody again this year. If you don’t receive one, let us know and we will make sure we get one to you.
Thank you again for the wonderful year we have been able to share together. I look forward to what God has
in store for us in 2022!
Peace be with you, neighbors.